Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Relaxing in Dallas

For the past 3 days we've been recuperating at our friend's home in Dallas. It's been great to not have to do anything - to have to be anywhere. We've gotten up late, went out for breakfast and swam in John and Luis's pool. Yesterday we went to the Fort Worth Zoo and today we went to the mall and got manicures and pedicures. It's been a welcome break before we cross the border into Mexico.

On the downside we woke up this morning to find we left our new camera out in the rain. Well, "we" didn't leave it outside. All I will say is it wasn't me, and I am sure glad because I would not want to deal with the guilt of destroying one of Allan's favorite toys. It was sitting in about 2 inches of water. So we shipped the camera back to Canon to see if it can be fixed, and then went to Best Buy to purchase a new one. I'm having flashbacks from this summer when I started planning for unexpected expenses. Luckily (thanks to the blog) I've been downloading photos to the PC regularly. The only photos we lost are the ones from Saturday on. Granted the photos on this posting will be limited.

Our siesta is about to end soon as tomorrow we'll get up early and drive 5 hours south to San Antonio (not including stops). On the way we'll stop by Lockhart, Texas, a city that shares the same name as Allan (Allan Lockhart), for some world class barbecue. Thursday we'll leave San Antonio early and will drive 2 hours to the border at Laredo and attempt to cross the border. I say "attempt" because we clearly are bringing too much stuff for 2 tourists. We're going to say we're bought a condo and are just furnishing it. We'll ask for a 180 day tourist visa (the maximum allowed per year). Worse case scenario is they'll search our car and tax us on a lot of the items. If they find anything which we're not allowed to bring into Mexico (i.e. our kitchen knife set) they could decide to take everything. However, given Mexico's lax attitude we're not expecting any complications - maybe a routine search and tax on some items. I'm trying not to think about it, because there is really nothing I can do. We're hoping Rickey and Mitzi will scare off the border cops. Seriously many Mexicans are afraid of dogs. Keep your fingers crossed.

Once we cross the border we'll drive south and stay overnight in Monterrey, Mexico. At this point we're either going to sneak the dogs into the hotel or leave them in the car overnight with the windows partway down. We did find a pet friendly hotel in Monterrey, the Holiday Inn, but the dogs have to stay in kennels in a special part of the hotel (not in the room). Considering our dogs aren't kennel trained, Allan and I feel they'd rather be in the comfort of our vehicle than in some cage in some unknown location. After Monterrey, we drive 4 or so hours south to San Luis Potosi and will stay in another hotel that also does not accept animals.

Playa del Carmen Condo and Villa Vacation Rentals

Rickey and Miti show off after a well needed bath.

We weren't really moving to Mexico. Matt needed some elective surgery not available in Boston. Don't you like his new look? Actually this is Leslie, John and Luis's lovely neighbor.

Luis, Matt, Allan, Danny, E.J. and John at our last supper in Dallas. Danny is John's nephew from Boston, and E.J. is Danny's friend.

Allan and John. Everyone should have the experience of staying with John and Luis. I don't want to leave; they're such great hosts!


American Mommy in Mexico said...

We crossed over Laredo border twice with too much stuff. 1st time through no problem. 2nd time searched but still they only looked in 3 boxes no probelem again.

WARNING - the immigration office (for FMT and Car Permit)where you need to get your VISA AFTER going through border is VERY easily missed. We spent over an hour lost 1st trip trying to find. It is on your right as you head out from border crossing (about 100 yards.) There is NO sign facing the direction (it faces the other direction) you are driving and you have to make a U-turn to right to get to it. Watch carefully.

It is VERY, VERY, VERY difficult to drive and navigate in Monteray. We were lost 3 hours there trying to find our hotel.It was awful.

You may want to read our July blog about driving into Mexico.

Navigate in Mexico using TOWNS NOT highway numbers/names. Always know the next few major cities in direction you are heading.

Have $30-$40 ready if Policia stop you. Say that is all you have ...

Good Luck!!

Sans said...

My advise is....get all the mani/pedi's you can before you cross south of the border. For whatever reason, I have yet to find a place in Mexico that really does good at either!!
If you need a place in Monterrey to stay, I highly reccomend Hotel Plaza de Oro...excellent location, great prices, really awesome hotel and staff!!